Armed police officers were dispatched to Leeds city centre after a man dressed as fictional Friday the 13th slasher Jason Vorhees was seen carrying what appeared to be knives.
A number of worried members of the public called the police at 5.25pm on Friday, prompting a hunt by police who tracked down a 24-year-old man in the city centre.
The man was found to be carrying plastic toy knives and told officers he was attending a fancy dress party.
He is understood to have been wearing a mask similar to that worn by the character Jason Vorhees in the series of Friday the 13th horror movies.
West Yorkshire Police today revealed details of the dramatic incident, which took place on Friday June 13, and have warned about the distress that can be caused by carrying toy weapons in public.
Superintendent Sam Millar of Leeds District Police said: “This incident took place during a two hour period in Leeds in which officers were deployed to a number of genuine emergencies including serious assaults, domestic incidents, road traffic collisions and searches for missing people, which gives an indication of how busy we frequently are.
“Residents quite rightly phoned us to inform us they had seen a man carrying what appeared to be knives and as a result we had to despatch critical resources to locate this individual. These were resources which could have been better deployed dealing with genuine emergencies.
“Officers were able to locate him and after checking the items he was carrying were toys he was dealt with and given suitable advice.
“We would remind everyone that carrying toy weapons in these circumstances can cause real distress as the items may well be mistaken by residents for the real thing, as in this case.
“Such items should not be displayed and anyone who does so can expect to be stopped by police and appropriately dealt with.”